Above: A Vilma Espin Sandwich. A year earlier the world’s most lavishly-funded intelligence agency (the CIA, employing mostly Ivy-League-graduate “analysts” and “experts”) crafted the foreign policy of the world’s guardian against communism on the solemn word of this Bacardi Duchess that: the gentlemen sandwiching her had NO COMMUNIST SYMPATHIES WHATSOEVER!!! A few months earlier Vilma Espin helped arrange the famous meeting between Fidel Castro and Herbert Matthews.
By April 1959, according to the late researcher Armando Lago, 1000 plus Cubans had been murdered by firing squad (Che in La Cabana, Raul in Oriente, Huber Matos in Camaguey, etc.) That month “Pepin” Bosch of Bacardi traveled to the U.S on Castro’s good-will tour, helping sell Castro to the U.S. as everything Herbert Matthews had promised.
Only the most hideously “chusma” Cuban-exiles point this out (in English.) Which of course brings us to Babalu Blog.
But CIA and U.S. State Dept. backing of Fidel Castro owed much to the good offices of the Bacardi clan. In fact, Bacardi duchess Vilma Espin (daughter of a high-rolling Bacardi executive) worked closely with Faustino Perez to arrange the fateful meeting between Fidel Castro and Herbert Matthews, even helped drive Matthews to the meeting. Shortly thereafter the Bacardi duchess (and soon-to-be wife of Raul Castro) had another fateful meeting–this one with Inspector General of the CIA Lyman Kirkpatrick.
In 1957 the CIA sent it’s Cuba “experts” to Oriente to determine if the Julio 26 movement had any Commie connections. Well, the U.S. State Department’s Cuba “experts” arranged for the CIA Cuba “experts” to be hosted by Cuba-grown Julio 26 “experts”–with some of the Julio 26’s main bankrollers in fact.
So the CIA’s Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick was hosted by a Bacardi executive’s pet Julio 26 “expert”–with his daughter Vilma Espin, in fact. This elegant and cultured Bryn Mawr and MIT attendee spoke flawless English and seemed to fit flawlessly into most CIA officers’ cultural and social set, (unlike those crude, un-lettered, many mulatto Batistianos.) So this Julio 26 apparatchik assured the CIA’s crackerjack Kirkpatrick that any mention of Fidel or Che or Raul as “Communists” was SIMPLY LAUGHABLE!– all crude Batistiano rumors! No respectable and enlightened person could POSSIBLY take those insufferable Batistianos seriously.
Fidel Castro, The Bacardi family’s representative’ Vilma Espin assured the CIA, was as pure as the driven snow. And so the CIA’s crackerjack Lyman Kirkpatrick went home to further plot to oust Batista and to aid Castro.
According to the New York Times some of the Bacardi clan may be rekindling this family tradition. True to form, The New York Times itself puts a “humanitarian” spin to their Castro story (much as Bacardi host Herbert Matthews did to his New york Times stories over half a century ago.) But shrewd Cuba-watchers (i.e. “hard-liners”) can surely read between the New York Times’ lines by now:
“Young heirs to the Bacardi family, which fled Cuba after the revolution, leaving behind luxurious homes and a rum business that employed 6,000 people, are sending disaster relief and supporting artists. When Kevin O’Brien and some of his cousins decided a few years ago to take charge of the long-dormant Bacardi Family Foundation, they agreed to focus much of their support on Cuba, returning to a version of an old family custom: Relatives pool money together and distribute it to a chosen cause or person.
Not everyone gives; there are about 500 Bacardis now, and disagreements over the homeland are common, said Mr. O’Brien, the foundation’s president. But since reactivating the foundation in 2012, the Bacardis have raised $28,000 for water filters after Hurricane Sandy and financed efforts to encourage creative expression, with art, photography and music.
Awwwwww…sounds so sweet. As did this: “Fidel Castro is humanist, a man of many ideals including those of liberty, democracy and social justice.” (Herbert Matthews, New York Times, Feb. 1957.)
And this: “We (the Julio 26 movement) only want what you Americans have; clean politics and a clean police.” (Vilma Espin in April 1957 to CIA inspector general Lyman Kirkpatrick, who hung on every word.)
Le RRRONCAN LOS MAMEYES!!!